Power Rangers Enters The 21st Century
The highly anticipated blockbuster gets an LGBTIQ+ makeover!
Power Rangers (2017) Dir. Dean Israelite is the franchise's first film foray into the 21st century. Although the popular 90s TV series has had many a reboot over the years, the new Power Rangers is the first film since 1997, and you can really tell that the producers are keen to show the franchise isn’t living in the past.
The film features a racially diverse group of teenagers, notably featuring four POC Power Rangers as main characters. Billy Cranston, the blue power ranger, is openly autistic, and Trini, the yellow power ranger is queer.
The scene that addresses Trini’s sexuality is a heart-warming scene, with the characters sitting around a campfire and making the conscious decision to try and get to know one another better. When Trini says her parents move a lot partly so they don’t have to worry about her relationships, another character asks her if she’s having boy troubles, and then when she doesn’t give a convincing answer, asking her if she’s having girl troubles. She elaborates by explaining that her parents are into labels, and that’s why they don’t get on.
Director Dean Israelite has stated that she’s still coming to terms with her sexuality, and “Hasn't fully figured it out yet”. And while the film ends on a positive and inclusive note for all the characters, it’s definitely a positive that the film has left the matter open for future movies.
It’s a big step forward for a franchise aimed almost exclusively at children (and maybe a few younger adults experiencing some nineties nostalgia). While it hasn’t been without criticism, the majority of Power Rangers fans, new and old, have reacted positively, praising the film for its diversity.
Already, the move seems to be paying off, with the film making a cool $15M on the Friday alone, well ahead of expected revenue. With the forecast for profits looking up and all the positive press surrounding the film’s diversity, it’s a promising look for those hoping for a storyline addressing Trini’s sexuality in a future sequel.